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In the 1976 Copyright Act, Congress inserted a termination right for authors or their successors for pre-January 1, 1978, assignments of copyrighted works (see, 17 U.S.C. §304) and for post-1977 copyright-assignment grants (see, 17 U.S.C. §203). Section 203 allows for termination of copyright grants after 35 years, while §304 provided termination from 56 years after a copyright was initially secured or on January 1, 1978, whichever occurred later. However, the legislators didn’t directly address a key issue: how to determine termination rights for what are known as “gap grant” works — that is, those created post-1977 under copyright assignments made before then.
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By Stan Soocher
Battles over celebrities’ estates often end up in litigation, but a recent court ruling involving the estate of French oceanic explorer, environmentalist and documentary filmmaker Jacques Cousteau included a not-often-seen right of publicity consideration: how a U.S. court determines whether right-of-publicity protection in another nation is descendible.
By Heidi Reavis
This article examines the recent judicial dialogue concerning allocation of Weinstein settlement proceeds among Weinstein crime victims, Weinstein Company creditors and defense counsel who have defended the Weinstein corporate officers and directors, and the overall negative impact these various episodes of the Weinstein settlement story likely have on victims’ willingness to participate or come forward at all.
By Shaleen J. Patel and Mike Hobbs
Recent legal and procedural developments associated with the ubiquitous Instagram social media site have created significant practical and legal risks for both copyright owners and account holders that entertainment industry professionals should note.
By Michael A Mora
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled in favor of Netflix in finding that one of its shows didn’t infringe the copyright of a Colombian journalist who wrote a memoir about her affair with drug kingpin Pablo Escobar and the rise of the Colombian drug trade.